A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to
The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton St., Sydney.
|No. 42||June, 1938.|
|Editor:||Dorothy Lawry.||Business Manager:||J.W. Mullins.|
|Publication Staff:||Clare Kinsella, Dot English, Kathleen McKay,
Flo. Allsworth, Messrs John R. Wood, Brain1) Harvey,
|Epistle from Scorry Malcolm||2|
|Holiday Trip, October 1937, by C. Pryde||4|
|At Our Very Own Meetings||6|
|Do You Know How to Walk?||7|
|Poem: “Jumping the Rattler” by N.A.W. Macdonald||9|
|“Misty” by J.W. Mullins||10|
As we told you last month, the Business Manager is very firm about each issue of this magazine being kept down to 11 pages. That is one good reason for putting his story last this time. If some of it should get squeezed out, he may appreciate the Editor's difficulties in trying to cram a good magazine into 11 pages! But we really hope Miss Brennan will manage to squeeze it all in, not out, when she is cutting the stencils for us.
Seriously though when you write articles, etc., for “The Sydney Bush Walker”, do make them snappy. Write up your trips in detail for the Recorder (Charlie Pryde), and then turn round and write a sketch of the high spots for publication. We can't give you more than 2 pages per article per issue; we don't want to run more than one serial at a time, if any; we do want lots of short articles, poems, paragraphs, and stories so that we can bring out a “brighter and better” issue each time.
Constructive criticism io also welcomed, but what we want is a steady flow of contributions. We see ourselves as your newspaper, and your literary outlet. It is up to you.
And it came to pass that a certain young man, who was the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, arose up out of the City of Sydney, and went to tarry in the land of the Tasmanites. And, as he was in haste to reach the land of Tasman he did peradventure journey to the City of Melbourne and there he boarded a ship cross the Strait of Bass. And he did meet a seller of goods, who spoke many words about himself and his achievements (for such is the manner of these people) and also a youth of tender years, who did squander his silver on strong drink and who said unto the young man “My father is a banker in the City of Hobart. Came 2) and feast with us.” Also, did he see two maidens with faces painted like unto the pomegranate though the lily which receives neither paint nor powder had beauty far exceeding these. Moreover, whilst walking on the upper deck he did espy a spinster of uncertain years, who did fall on the neck of one of the mariners. And the young man turned about, and thought of the vanity of human nature. So he came to the north of the Island of the Tasmanites, picked up his baggage and, after long journeying did arrive in the City of Hobart.
Being, therefore, arrived, he was welcomed by a certain tribe, whose aim was to do a daily turn of good, and they did take him many places, fed him and carried him in their caravan to the top of a high mountain, whose name is Wellington. And there he saw the kingdom of the Tasmanites spread out about his feet, and marvelled in his heart at the beauty and the richness of the land.
Thus the young man tarried four days, but being of a restless and questing spirit, he took a caravan and, with his small boat, he departed into a mountainous land of many waters, whose name is St. Clair. Peradventure, he met a certain Fergie, a hewer of wood and a drawer of water, who resides on the shores of the great lake called St. Clair. And the young man liked the country and tarried one day by the shores of the lake. But, on the morrow, he entered into his boat and, after four hours paddling, he came at length to a cabin at the head of the lake on a river, which is called Narcissus. Now, the cabin, which is but of two rooms, one of which has no roof and only three walls, contained a comfortable bunk. So the young man dwelt there three days. And oft times, when he cooked his evening meal, he looked to heaven and saw the wistful stars and heard the wind soughing in the tree tops.
And it came to pass that, on the third day, he girded his loins and made ready to depart. But, as he saw the sun rise over the mountain whose name is Gould, he stayed to marvel at the wonders of the country. And about mid-day, a fierce wind sprang up from the north west, and lashed the lake to white foam. So the young man entered his boat and came down the lake; but wishful to find calm water, he crossed to the other side, but found it not. Therefore, he said to himself. “I will sail down the centre of the lake.” But, when he was a mile from either shore, the gale increased and the waves beset him. So he set out for a point three miles distant, and, speeding along on the white crests, which were at time 6' high, he arrived very soon at the shore, where, alas! his boat was swamped. So he landed and placed his boat on the track and, carrying his baggage on his back, journeyed twelve miles tc the house of Fergie, through the storm. And, on the morrow, being rested, he made a compact with the man Fergie to recover his boat, and departed once again to the City of Hobart.
Now it game to pass that the young man was well thought of among the tribe whose motto is “Be prepared”, and they gathered their elders and questioned him, for they thought to make him one of their high priests. And the young man met a friend from the City of Sydney, whose name is French, and he, being also well thought of, was also questioned.
And when these things were over the two friends set off on a great ship and crossed the sea and returned to the land of their fathers.
And they did meet the Daughters of the Tasmanites, women of great prowess in the art of rowing, and of mighty muscles also. But, when the ship did heave a little, the daughters of the Tasmanites did turn pale peagreen, and retired to their couches. Whereat the two friends marvelled at the frailty of human nature when out of its element, and so arrived at the City of Sydney.
Here endeth the epistle.
So many points of interest were raised in this month's report that it is impossible to mention them all here. Members desirous of fuller details should consult the notice board or the files kept by the Hon. Secretary.
After a four-hour meeting and much heated discussion the rules were drafted. Twolve 3) members are to be chosen from various clubs. The following S.B.W. names were submitted: Miss Bransdon, Messrs Colley, Duncan, Dunphy, Freeguard, Goddard, Lee, Lemberg and Stead.
Mr. Spooner has given us new hope that a track will be made through the bush to replace the one taken away. The request for a tea-area at Otford is also being considered.
Following the receipt of a letter about the destruction of bush in a particular district, caused by boy scouts clearing camp-sites, it was decided to write to Scout Headquarters; to the Scouters' Pow Wow; and to the Minister for Education, urging that the teaching of bush conservation be included in the syllabus.
A letter was received complaining that members of the S.B.W. washed at the tank on Couridjah railway station, on Easter Monday morning, and left the tap running longer than was necessary. The result was that the tank ran low, a serious matter on dry ridges dependent on tank water.
Don't pack your groundsheet wet. It will go sticky. If it sticks use talcum powder.
Push your sleeping bag into its case - it is quicker and more effective than rolling it.
In wet weather you can always get dry sticks from ti-tree.
Altering your rucksack straps a couple of holes will often give your back a rest.
By C. Pryde.
The Trip officially started from Milson's Point at 9:35 a.m., Saturday, 2nd. October, but previously there had been several meetings and talks to arrange about food, gear, etc..
At Milson's Point, we got into the wrong train and were unceremoniously bundled out at North Sydney where we had to wait until the right one came along. However, we got comfortably settled and had a good run to Morriset, after a change at Hornsby, where we arrived at 12:30 p.m.
After arranging with a taxi driver to take us out to Martinsville, we had some lunch. It was a miserable, raw, sleety day and we were glad when we got properly on the move.
At Morriset we weighed our packs - Maurie had 52 lbs. and I 59 lbs. At Cooranbong, Maurie got a photograph of the present Post Office. Some of his relatives in years gone by had owned a store there but it had been burned out. The good days for Cooranbong have gone. Twenty or thirty years ago it was a very thriving settlement with a big trade in timber, but there are only a few scattered houses now. Most of the land is held by Seventh Day Adventists who have a community factory making food stuffs, etc.
Leaving the taxi at Martinsville, we changed into our walking rig at an old saw mill and walked out to Dora Creek in a cold bleak rain. Finding a good camp site we decided to stay there for the night and gathered in a supply of firewood. Nearby there was a deserted orchard and homestead which we visited, and helped ourselves liberally from an orange tree which had a good quantity of fruit left.
Sunday 3rd. After a good night we got moving about 8 o'clock. Three fellows passed the camp with rifles and as they did not seem very experienced we were rather scared for a while. We had a very stiff climb up the ridge by an old road, much overgrown. Unfortunately, there was no water on the top so we had to have a dry lunch. We remarked specially about the wonderful variety of the trees still left on the ridge, and their size, although a tremendous amount of timber had been taken out.
Near the boundary of the Onley State Forest we heard a lot of cooeeing in one of the gullies and wondered what was the matter. Afterwards we found that it was some members of the Rucksack Club calling to people at the hut.
Following a track along the ridge to the eastern end of the State Pine Forest we came to the road from Morriset via The Pinnacle and Forest Hut. A sign post at the junction is marked “L.M.C.” (Lake Macquarie Council). More magnificent trees of many varieties. A. thing that struck us particularly was the way the growth changed within a few yards from open park lands with big trees to dense tropical growth that seemud to be almost impenetrable and back again to open park lands. There were numbers of wallabies bounding about. Rocks covered with rock lilies and some, splendid staghorns.
Several side trips were made along timber-getters tracks to have a look at the district. About 4 p.m. we followed some horse tracks which we thought would be on a proper track but soon found we had backed the wrong horse as the tracks lead down to steep cliffs, and so we had to retrace our steps to where we had gene astray. Later we found the horse peacefully grazing.
The evening was getting on and as we were afraid of getting caught on the top of the ridge in the dark without water, we hurrieny scrambled down to what we thought was Wattigan Creek and found water in a feeder creek just as dark came and made camp with a good fire. We were greatly interested in the calling of owls and other night birds who were evidently disturbed by our firelight. One owl in particular kept hovering about from tree to tree screaming all the while in a very indignant tone.
Monday 4th. The day dawned bright and the chorus of birds of all descriptions was wonderful. We soon found that we were only a few yards away from the old Wattigan Road, and almost opposite Harris Park. After breakfast we made down to Wattigan Valley and dropped packs at a likely camp site and were heading down towards Mt. Warramolong when we were surprised to come on a party of five members of the Rucksack Club and had a long talk with them. A few minutes after they had gone on the homeward way, we met Max Gentle, who had been on a long cycling tour and after early lunch accompanied him up the road to where we had gone astray the previous night, and then had a good look round the district.
This old road is a wonderful piece of engineering work. From Wattigan Valley it rises about a thousand feet in a grade of about 1 in 18 or 20. Maurie and I, after leaving Max wondered round some of the tops and then returned to camp and gathered in a big supply of wood. There was a great deal of sword grass about and our hands and legs suffered.
Tuesday 5th. After breakfast we set out to climb Mt. Warramalong 2,090 ft. We went up by a timber track and found an easy grade to the top, on N.E. Fade. The top is Basalt but much decayed. Some grand views all round, but unfortunately there was a slight haze. However, we were able to pick out many places. We put our names in the book in a cairn supplied by the C.M.W. and left a small bottle. Came down again by a spur on the north west slope which was very steep but gave a good foot hold.
We crossed a number of paddocks on to the road and had a yarn with one of Harris's men who was plowing and we got some eggs at the house. Near the camp we saw a couple of black snakes but they lost themselves in the grass. Had a good bath and washed out some socks and then a pleasant night at the fire after a solid meal.
Wednesday 6th. Away from camp about 9 o'clock for Wollombi. It was a very hot, sultry morning and travelling along the road was tiresome, so we had a good number of spells. We procured a number of oranges and lemons at a deserted farm, and visited a timber-getter's camp, but no one was about. We met a timber lorry going for a load and decided that if it overtook us when returning and the driver offered us a lift we mould take it. It was a wise decision as the road into Laguna and from there into Wollombi was deadly and most uninteresting, and with our loads would have taken a couple of days at least. The man was a wonderful driver and we were amazed at the dexterity with which he handled the lorry and its huge load of logs which he estimated at about 9 tons. Often he makes three trips in the day from the camp down to Paxton with a similar load.
(To be continued in our next)
At the General Meeting on May 13th., the most important business of the evening was the discussion of Publicity for the Club. Many members voiced their opinions, and the general appeared to be that, although the S.B.W. was in complete sympathy with the Federation's work for the conservation of walking country and the preservation of wild life, and welcomed publicity for that purpose, it did not desire publicity for the Club itself. A. motion to that effect was put to the meeting and carried.
Jack Debert and Charlie Pryde were appointed to represent the S.B.W. at the meeting of protest against the proposed construction of an Olympic Swimming Pool in National Park.
A mug donated by Tom Herbert as a swimmming carnival prize was presented to the winners, Joan Fitzpatrick and David Stead, together with two small replicas of the trophy.
The Treasurer reported the receipt of £1/1/- 4) from members as a donation towards the portrait of “Red Gum”.
Paddy has some news for the “go-lightly” clan. He has got some new cloth for the special purpose of making light weight rucksacks.
It is a heavy grade japara, sent specially out from England in answer to Paddy's request for a tough watertight, not too heavy cloth.
It will knock a pound or two off the load of some fortunate bushwalker,
If your name is Coalheaver and not Golightly, the cloth should still interest you, as an extra special groundsheet, storm-proof jacket or cape.
| F.A. Pallin,
327 George St.,
Excerpts from “Padding the Sod”, by Charles B. Roth.
Field and Stream, September, 1937.
I've always believed that the most useful accomplishment any man could have is the ability to walk well and to enjoy it. They go together, for that matter. A poor walker usually detests walking; a good walker finds it delightful. Walking is a wonderful exercise, quite apart from being the outdoorsman's necessity. The best hunting places can only be reached on legs; the best fishing streams are inaccessible to wheels.
The style for long distance walking is the modified heel-and-toe, used by practically every great walker. It certainly is an improvement over the old Indian shuffle, and no more strenuous. On the contrary, it is a fine exercise, one which develops the muscles from head to toe and keeps the whole body in good condition.
Let's consider the stride and see if we can discover the most effective way to use the legs in covering ground. The two secrets of correct walking are rhythm and balance. These are achieved, mainly, by regulation of the stride; a stride which is long, but not too long and under the control of the walker at all times.
A trained walker will take in from four to twelve inches more ground every time he takes a step than a nabural or untrained walker will. Therefore he will walk faster and farther with less effort. There are two reasons for this. The first is that he walks with a straighter leg. The second is that he uses the hip swing. I am going to tell you about both.
The straight leg comes first. In walking, you should bend the knee just as little as possible. Of course, such a thing as walking with an absolutely straight leg is impossible; there must be some bend. But as the leg comes back at the finish of a step, the knee is locked, and the leg is kept as straight as you can keep it.
I know that if you are climbing mountains this is mighty poor advice to give. There, you must bend the knees.
Most of the speed, as well as extra distances and much power comes from the hip swing. And, yet how seldom one sees a walker who uses it. Watch them plod along, thrusting one leg out after another, the hips kept practically on a plane all the while. Put your hips into your walk; let them swing freely with the advanced leg. You will notice that you are covering more ground and covering it more easily than you ever did before.
Now all you need to master is the use of the upper body, and this is not difficult. Watch your expert walker tick off the miles. You will notice that he puts every muscle he owns into it, from the crown of the head down. You'll notice particularly that he relies upon his arms for much of his speed and lift and form.
You should let your arms help you. This means allowing the arms to swing freely; assisting them in their swinging, as a matter of fact. The upper half of the body should be kept erect, never allowed to slump over and become flat-chested.
Most suffering is brought about by improperly fitted boots or shoes. When you buy your outdoor footgear, make sure it's plenty big, one size larger than your city shoes, a half size larger at least. As you walk a long distance more blood is pumped into the feet than in your usual, daily life and they swell. Shoes that are fine in town become tight, and pinch, in the hills.
If you wear shoes with arch supports at home, have arch supports in your outing boots. If not, don't have them. If you wear heels in your daily w? 8) go heelless to the wood or you will walk right into trouble. In general, shoes with 9) heavy soles and rubber heels are the best outing shoes, because they most nearly 10) approximate the shoes to which you're accustomed. If your feet are hardened to the 11) use of moccasins, fine, wear them.
Now I want to give you a little counsel about the care of the feet. If your 12) feet are kept properly hardened you'll never know what blisters are, and blisters are the bane of a walker's life.
Directions: From your grocer or druggist obtain a ten-pound bag of rock salt, the kind used in freezing ice cream. Take a good big double handful of it and put it into a foot-tub, or bucket, half filled with boiling hot water. Allow the salt to dissolve while the water cools to room temperature.
Now take this tub or bucket and put it underneath your bed or in the corner of the sleeping room. Every night before you go to bed, stick your two feet into the brine. Soak them for ten minutes or longer. Start this treatment two weeks before you go on your trp and you wont know you have a pair of feet along.
Other secrets I learned will likewise serve you. Carry the hands suspended long enough and the veins are going to become distorted. Your hands will feel hot, puffy, uncomfortable. I'ts the blood rushing into them. The remedy is simple. Carry something, and change it from hand to hand.
When you're dead tired, so tired you feel you can't go on another step, take the riding crop, or the stick, or the gun you carry or a fishing rod, or anything and thrust it through the elbows and across the back. Put your hands in your pockets and “ride.” It sounds absurd, but it's true and “You just sit down and ride as you walk.”
(Continued from page 11)
Perhaps you have seen them at sunrise. Looking into the east when the mists are rising in Cedar Creek Valley, you will see the golden tinge on the edge of the mists as they float up and away; it is the reflection of the goblins astride their 13) backs. And if you face the west you will see the silver reflections of the fairies mingling with the snowy mists. But the funny little gnomes, they seem to enjoy it most of all in the winter. Walking out on Narrow Neck on a misty winter's morning, you will hear them howling with delight, with voices like demons, as they goad their 14) misty chargers through the protesting gum trees with gale fury. And how they delight in the terrifying surge as the mists sweep off the Neck down into the valley!
Thus the vow that Misty made came true!
Extra! Extra! Good news. It is now possible to travel on special week-end excursion tickets on all trains after 12.1 a.m. on Friday. Brisbane and Melbourne mails excepted.
or Tramps Through A Stockman's Eyes
By N.A.W. Macdonald.
I have travelled in most stock trains
From both Bourke and Broken Hill.
From far up north and way down south
From Quambone to Peak Hill.
And in my time at droving,
I have seen a tramp or two
Have pitched them out and belted them
They've pinched, my tucker too.
They've broken seals and opened trucks,
And got in with the sheep,
And sat and watched them smother;
Ah, it makes you want to weep.
Yes? the cows are all for comfort,
Yet for travelling with the coal,
If I ever live to see one,
I will eat my stetson whole,
On Tuesday, April 26th. Fannie and Vic. Thorsen welcomed a daughter. (Frances Allyn).
Peter Page has left for England in the Ormonde, and expects to be away six months.
On Sunday, May 8th. the S.B.W. was well represented on the official H.H. Club walk from Wahroonga to Mt. Kuring-gai, via Bobbin Head, when the Junior Walking Club was formed. The age limits for “Bunyips” were fixed officially at 9 and 15, but one small girl of 7 did the whole of the inaugural walk on her own feet. The youngest of the large party was Laurie, aged 5, and he walked quite 2/3 rds. of the way. The Bunyips are to have two official walks per month, on the third Saturday and on the third Sunday. Renee Browne was elected first President of the Bunyip Club.
At Sincarpia Camp last week-end Jock Kaske had his sleeping-bag eaten by a rat, while he was in it. (No, no, not the whole bag). This is plainly a case of biting the hand that fed it, as Jock was one of two kindly souls who said: Don't kill it, poor thing!
A cheery letter has been received from Jeane and Gordon Mannell, reporting (a) that they are still happy though married, and (b) that Jeane's first cake was a great success. These two stataments are evidently closely connected. Has it not been said: Feed the brute?
(The Story of the Blue Mountain Mists)
By Bill Mullins.
Many many years ago there dwelt in the Blue Mountains a great number of tiny silver fairies and golden goblins.
They were all good fairies and happy goblins, for every day of their lives they basked and gambolled in the brilliant sunlight, with never a care to worry them. Sometimes it rained, but, wonderful indeed, it rained only at night-time when everyone had grown tired of play and had dropped off to sleep. None of the folk had ever seen the rain, and none really wished to stay up and see it, for fear that it would continue to rain after the sun had risen and so spoil their beautiful day.
Now, living with the goblins was a sad young fellow named Misty. Nobody knew why he was called Misty, and only a few of the older goblins knew where he came from. He was a strange fellow indeed, and often worried his friends by his apparent unhappiness. In the winter he would sometimes sit on a rock all day, gazing up at the crags and cliffs that reared up from the valley where he was living. Unhappy he was indeed, for how he yearned to be back amongst his mountain peaks in the Southern Alps! He dreamed, as he sat there with his sad face cupped in his chubby hands, of the happy days he had spent with his sister fairies on the snow peaks, riding on the backs of the great, hog-backed, black clouds that sailed around; and of how, in the summer, they would chase one another through the heath and the snow-daisies; and of the glittering stars that gleamed through the spectral snowgums on their evening games with the fireflies. Oh! would he never reach those heights above? Everybody was happy, thought Misty, except his poor self.
One night, after such a day of sad pondering, Misty wandered away from the evening circle of games and found his way back to the rock where he was fond of sitting and dreaming. There he sat for hours, watching the stars above; dreaming of the stars of his homeland. Meanwhile the folk had wearied of their games and gone off to bed. Misty stayed for a long time, dreaming, and it was not until just before dawn that he lay down to sleep. Suddenly he awoke with a terrible start. It was raining; but, more terrible, it was daylight. Rain in the daytime! What a horrible thought; but it was not a dream, or a thought, it was true!
Poor Misty became very frightened, and raced as hard as he could back to the other goblins. Grouped around in little circles, they looked miserable and overawed by this strange phenomenon. Perhaps now, they said, it would always rain in the daytime. Gone would be their happy days of playing. No more laughing and joking with the sun-starts on the creeks and streams! No more hiding in the cool fronds of the ferns! Everything would become wet, and dank, and sodden. Is it any wonder that they were all sad? No sun! Why, they would all die!
Misty felt very bad about it all, because he realised that he must have been the cause of it all staying up so late. He dared not tell his friends, but he made a vow that he would bring them a greater happiness, and restore the sunshine, and so dispel all their sadness. So he made this suggestion:
He was to watch each day, and wait for the first sunbeam that peeped throush the heavy clouds, then, however slender it might be, he would race up as fast as he could, and mount the ugly clouds. He would first of all enlist the aid of the gnomes (nasty little people; nevertheless, this was a common cause of preservation and all pettiness must be thrust aside), and, aided by these nimble-footed creatures, he would beat down the clouds to earth; down into the valley, where no winds could lift them and drive them up again to cause more rain. Everybody would get a fearful wetting when the cloud burst, but what fun, they said, if Misty could beat those horrid clouds, and let in the sunshine again!
Only for one day did Misty and the gnomes have to wait, then, just before midday, the sun peeped through, trying to comfort the sad little folk. Calling out to the gnomes, who were ready, quick as a firefly Misty raced up the sunbeam, with the gnomes at his heels. High up along the sunbeam they went until they were above the cloud mass. Jumping off, they flayed into their foe with frenzied energy, for they must win to preserve their very lives. There were countless numbers of gnomes, each contorted like a little devil, and howling with rage, hoping thus to scare the ugly clouds.
Gradually their weight of numbers begsn to tell, and the cloud started to break up. Lower and lower it sank into the valley until only wisps as thin as vapour floated down. The sun gleamed on the valley once more as brilliantly as ever and, long before Misty and the gnomes reached the others, they could hear their ringing cries of joy. Gnomes and goblins, traditional enemies, joined hands with the fairies, and cheered each other because of their good fortune. That evening was a memorable one in the valley. Everybody was happy once more.
“What would the morrow bring?”, thought Misty, always the ponderer; “some new, strange phenomenon and more worries, perhaps.” He had forgotten for the time being his memories of childhood, and soon fell asleep with the others.
Next morning at sunrise Misty was up first. He found everything wet and sparkling with raindrops. True, it had rained in the night, just as usual. What would the day bring? He looked up to the heavens with the keen eye of a weather prophet.
What was this he spied? Why, all about in the valley were things like clouds. Cold, chill fear gripped poor Misty. Would these ugly clouds never go? Yet, these were somehow different. They seemed friendly and clean, and how white they were! But they seemed to be all moving. Yes! they were moving together to form a mass to block out the sun again! He must call the gnomes and do something! Oh, what could he do?
Wait! They were not joining up; they seemed to be just drifting aimlessly, as if they were blind, and gradually they went higher and higher. Misty, for a moment, forgot his troubles, and yearned to be on the backs of those free, graceful things. Then, suddenly, he remembered how he got his name. Mists! Yes, that's what they were! Misty; of course. Now it all came back to him - how he used to love sporting on the backs of the mist clouds when he was a little fellow in the snow mountains; dashing up the sunbeams and leaping onto the soft, woolly backs of the mist clouds. Why, he would try it now!
Calling out to his sleeping companions to join him, he raced up the nearest sunbeam, and, in the twinkling of an eye, was an the back of a mist cloud.
Soon the others caught the idea and were astride the carefree, stately mist clouds, sailing along in great majesty; and so they learned from Misty how to ride the backs of the mists. (turn to page 8.)